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EA rumored to layoff 500+

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polycounter lvl 13
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Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 13
http://startupgrind.com/2012/04/exclusive-electronic-arts-set-to-lay-off-500-employees/


As of now EA says this is false but we all know too well that this is what publishers do. They will deny right up until they are handing you your paperwork to avoid the bad press and hit on the stocks...


My advice as always...

BEWARE AND BACK UP EVERYTHING NOW!!!!

Even if these turn out to be false you still have a safety net but if they turn out true and you don't do this. Well you are fucked for a lack of better words...

Protect your ass....

Hope this turns out to be false...

Replies

  • slipsius
    Bruuuuutal. Best of luck to everyone working for EA, and like Jesse said... BACK IT UP, and get ready!
  • [HP]
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    [HP] polycounter lvl 12
    Shit man... ;|
  • katana
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    katana polycounter lvl 12
    These larger studios, need to take a page from the Big Box retail stores that collapsed and adjust their business model appropriately...
  • ErichWK
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    ErichWK polycounter lvl 10
    What the fuck is up with the comments? I've read some of the comments in other sites and it's some of the most vile/uneducated/fucked up shit. People are.. HAPPY!? This is happening? If this is true then this could ruin so many lives/families. This is gonna make it more difficult to find more work with that many people flooding the job hunting streets.
  • David-J
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    David-J polycounter lvl 11
    I agree about the whole getting ready and all. Don't you guys think that lately websites and blogs are reporting everything they can find online and post it as news. Rumors, Job openings, trademarks, etc. It's like they just find it and post it as news and they don't care to verify it or anything.

    Also, I am also amazed ErichWK at the comments you see with these kinda news. People are actually happy for people loosing their jobs. Crazy world we are living in I guess.
  • ambershee
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    ambershee polycounter lvl 13
    They'll be shifting more staff to Asia, that's what the quoted stuff means. The jobs are still there, it's just that someone else will be doing them (unless those staff are willing to relocate and take a pay cut).

    I didn't realise their stock had gotten this low though, that's a colossal decline since late last year. Riccitielo is clearly doing exactly what Farrel did and the company is heading the exact same way - throwing stupid amounts of money at licensed projects, too much money into marketing and acquiring anything he can find in no organised manner.

    I'll take my post from that other thread and dump it here:
    ambershee wrote: »
    The real thing to also understand though, is that EA is losing money - it's losing a lot of money and it doesn't take someone with inside knowledge to work it out. In 2009 their share price dropped to 1/3rd it's value and since then they've only made marginal profits sufficient enough to appease their shareholders; those marginal profits just also happen to coincide with mass layoffs to Western non-development staff, and the rise of offices in South Asia.

    It's also interesting to see that EA's spending in research and development has plummeted to 85% of it's former spending (the impact on development there is huge), but they've increased their spend on marketing to 110% of what it used to be. If this trend continues they'll be spending more on marketing their products than actually developing them. That's sad.

    The important part of the big picture is that EA's revenue in sales is down to 70% of it's 2009 sales - and in 2009 is when they posted their massive end-of-year slump. Given a 1/3rd reduction in sales since then, we can only assume the picture is getting bleaker for the company.

    Given the numbers in the link, that share price has dropped 86% of it's value in three years.
  • ErichWK
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    ErichWK polycounter lvl 10
    Yea, It's times like these when I feel Phil Fish wasn't too far from the truth when he said "Gamers are the Worst People".
  • ScudzAlmighty
    ErichWK wrote: »
    What the fuck is up with the comments? I've read some of the comments in other sites and it's some of the most vile/uneducated/fucked up shit. People are.. HAPPY!? This is happening? If this is true then this could ruin so many lives/families. This is gonna make it more difficult to find more work with that many people flooding the job hunting streets.


    I would guess that most of these people don't think or care beyond the Negative news about the company it's cool to hate. They're just happy that something bad is being said publicly and now they can join in on the bash-fest.

    They probably didn't feel bad for all the innocent work-for-hire stormtroopers that died in the 2 death stars either
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 15
    Yeah, those fucked up comments happen with every major layoff, sometimes it makes me wonder why we make games for such entitled douche-bags. Just have to remind yourself that they are a small vocal minority.
  • nick2730
    i dumped my stock in ea earlier this year. There business plan is finally catching up with them, people are just angry so they say stupid stuff about being happy they are laying off people. I doubt they are truly happy about it when it comes to the person loosing their job but they are happy that ea is strugglnig
  • Jungsik
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    Jungsik polycounter lvl 6
    this better not be true..wow 500+
  • skylebones
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    skylebones polycounter lvl 10
    It's really lame, but I gotta agree with Jesse. Back it up. When I was at Disney a few years ago we had an all hands meeting just so they could "calm our nerves and assure us there will be no layoffs" after rumors started. A month later, big layoffs.

    Save your work and keep everything updated. Though I seriously hope this isn't true.
  • ambershee
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    ambershee polycounter lvl 13
    Given past behaviour by EA, I'd second the above to back your stuff up. Recent events and EAs financial status has all the same hallmarks of Ricittiello like when they acquired a casual game developer in 2009 (Playfish - for a stupid amount of money), post massive losses, then shortly they laid off some 1500 people from some of their most significant studios. This time around they've acquired PopCap (for a stupid amount of money), and posted massive losses..
  • skankerzero
    Back your stuff up.

    I know the EA comps are monitored so here is what you do:

    Take a thumbdrive to work
    turn off your machine
    unplug the network cable
    turn on your machine
    plug in thumbdrive
    back up your work
    unplug thumbdrive
    turn off your machine
    plug your network cable back in
    turn on your machine
  • Torch
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    Torch greentooth
    David-J wrote: »
    I agree about the whole getting ready and all. Don't you guys think that lately websites and blogs are reporting everything they can find online and post it as news. Rumors, Job openings, trademarks, etc. It's like they just find it and post it as news and they don't care to verify it or anything.

    Agreed, its a bit lame how there seems to be a lot of doom and gloom around lately with all the 'Studio X is closing down' news :/ Also agree with the above post, back up and be prepared for anything! :thumbup:
  • bounchfx
    It's frustrating as hell when rumors like this happen. Even worse when they're true but of course denied until they say 'ok ok yes it's true'. Ugh.
  • skankerzero
    David-J wrote: »
    I agree about the whole getting ready and all. Don't you guys think that lately websites and blogs are reporting everything they can find online and post it as news. Rumors, Job openings, trademarks, etc. It's like they just find it and post it as news and they don't care to verify it or anything.

    I would agree, but even if they fact check they will just get a generic statement like they did here or when the THQ layoffs happened.

    I gladly welcome them reporting rumors because often times that's the only warning we as game devs get.
  • JacqueChoi
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 15
    well, I'm sure most people who work at EA are aware that layoffs are a regular occurrence. I used to get the sweats twice a year when I worked for them.
  • Rhinokey
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    Rhinokey polycounter lvl 11
    when i started at kingsisle i was kinda bummed that this would never be a company where i would make one of those big games that everyone talks about. but after a bit i realized making games for kids is much better. Kids are not jaded, they completely love us and send us fan pictures (we have a wall filled with drawings sent in by kids) Its fun having a fanbase thats not jaded and jerks.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    Sucks for the peeps from the future, hopefully it doesn't happen.

    Lets see people vouch for them now.
  • skylebones
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    skylebones polycounter lvl 10
    Rhinokey wrote: »
    when i started at kingsisle i was kinda bummed that this would never be a company where i would make one of those big games that everyone talks about. but after a bit i realized making games for kids is much better. Kids are not jaded, they completely love us and send us fan pictures (we have a wall filled with drawings sent in by kids) Its fun having a fanbase thats not jaded and jerks.


    I completely agree with this. The first game I worked on was an M-rated shooter, since then it's all been kids games. And now for a children's network. Kids are awesome and get super excited about the simplest things. My nephews freak out about our shows/games.

    Though one time we had a kid send a profanity laced email telling us how much he hates one of our shows and please don't respond back because it was his mothers email and he didn't want to get in trouble.
  • katana
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    katana polycounter lvl 12
    I must have the stupid's today...can you guys explain why you would bother backing up the work when it belongs to the company? Is it to document it for possible future wage issues?

    And if that's the case, do the larger companies really act that scummy?
  • slipsius
    katana wrote: »
    I must have the stupid's today...can you guys explain why you would bother backing up the work when it belongs to the company? Is it to document it for possible future wage issues?

    And if that's the case, do the larger companies really act that scummy?

    So you can update your portfolio with the last few years of your professional career. Otherwise you have nothing to show for your time.
  • skankerzero
    slipsius wrote: »
    So you can update your portfolio with the last few years of your professional career. Otherwise you have nothing to show for your time.

    that.
  • katana
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    katana polycounter lvl 12
    But of course the work that still falls under an NDA can't be shown, and I would assume that people regularly update their portfolio

    ...don't laugh yet....

    ...because I know artists at their core are so focused that they are lazy...:)
  • skankerzero
    katana wrote: »
    But of course the work that still falls under an NDA can't be shown, and I would assume that people regularly update their portfolio

    ...don't laugh yet....

    ...because I know artists at their core are so focused that they are lazy...:)

    Either way, if you don't back up your work, then you will not have anything to show when the game ships.
  • Progg
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    Progg polycounter lvl 10
    katana wrote: »
    I must have the stupid's today...can you guys explain why you would bother backing up the work when it belongs to the company? Is it to document it for possible future wage issues?

    And if that's the case, do the larger companies really act that scummy?

    Because you will be told to leave the building without getting a chance to get any of the work you did on the project. If you back it up you can put the stuff on your portfolio to get another job down the road when the game ships.
  • katana
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    katana polycounter lvl 12
    It's a shame that it rolls like that. Do the smaller studio's react the same way to layoff's or is it a case by case basis?
  • skankerzero
    smaller studios usually are a more 'family' environment.

    When Terminal Reality had their layoffs a month ago, they gave people a week to come in and back all their work up. They also gave them deals on licensing their engine for free.
  • SnakeDoctor
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    SnakeDoctor keyframe
    Progg wrote: »
    Because you will be told to leave the building without getting a chance to get any of the work you did on the project. If you back it up you can put the stuff on your portfolio to get another job down the road when the game ships.


    They would seriously make you leave like that? If so it dosnt seem right. I would think they would give you a day to collect your things. I personally have not worked for large corporations, but instead many family atmosphere type jobs so I have no experience on the matter.
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    And if someone catches you loading up a thumbdrive with project files? Any place I've worked at would kick you out the door for that.
  • skankerzero
    They would seriously make you leave like that? If so it dosnt seem right. I would think they would give you a day to collect your things. I personally have not worked for large corporations, but instead many family atmosphere type jobs so I have no experience on the matter.

    Often time they lock your computers down and have security there to escort people out.

    They usually give you X amount of time to put your stuff in a box and leave.

    The bigger the company the more impersonal it is when you're laid off.

    fearian wrote: »
    And if someone catches you loading up a thumbdrive with project files? Any place I've worked at would kick you out the door for that.

    No doubt. Do it at your own discression, but that's why I posted the process if your machine is monitored and have software to detect if usb drives have been plugged in.
    From what I've been told, EA uses software like that and they screen you at the entrance to make sure you're not showing up with a portable HDD.
  • slipsius
    Ive never had to sign an NDA that's that hardcore, so Im legit wondering... If you`re laid off... doesn't that void your NDA? Like, you signed a contract... you held up your portion of it, but they didnt. So it voids the contract, no?
  • skankerzero
    slipsius wrote: »
    Ive never had to sign an NDA that's that hardcore, so Im legit wondering... If you`re laid off... doesn't that void your NDA? Like, you signed a contract... you held up your portion of it, but they didnt. So it voids the contract, no?

    most contracts have a portion in there that sates that the employer can terminate employment at any time.
    Some dick ones don't even have to tell you why.
  • Rhinokey
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    Rhinokey polycounter lvl 11
    at mythic we were escorted out, and had a time scheduled to come back and pick up our stuff, at that time the computer had already been moved out, just was able to get my personal belongings/

    and yup ace, i still dont hate ea for that. but i can see the reason for your fanatic hatred.. you are clueless and follow the trend.

    i cant say i love ea, and i would not work for them again if offered the chance. And i hated them for a while after but man, water under the bridge.
  • katana
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    katana polycounter lvl 12
    slipsius wrote: »
    Ive never had to sign an NDA that's that hardcore, so Im legit wondering... If you`re laid off... doesn't that void your NDA? Like, you signed a contract... you held up your portion of it, but they didnt. So it voids the contract, no?

    NDA's will have a term period even after a layoff or termination up to a year generally. By that time the company will assume that the information you might have has become obsolete.
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 13
    My experience with one of the companies I was layed off from.

    Rumors had been circling for a while leading up to it and I felt it was in my best interest to just back up my stuff to cover my ass in case I was hit by it. I backed up what I could and saved it.

    Later the next week I went into work and found out that people were being let go. I was at my desk when my art director approached me and asked me to come with him. I knew I was done. I was led into an office and told that due to "resturcturing" my position with the company no longer existed.

    I was wished good luck, was allowed to return to my desk to get my backpack and that was it. I had to leave my own keyboard, mouse, all my books, collectibles that I had decorated my cubical with and any thing else that was mine. I was then led away into a room where a bunch of us were handed paperwork to sign and get told about what was going on with severence, and some career counselor who had no clue at all about video games asked me if I would like to schedule job fair info with him to go over my career goals and my resume.

    We were then quickly made to leave the building, hand over our access key cards and were given a time on a weekend when we could return to gather our personal items and also schedule a time to go through our computer while being monitored and place any files that we would like to have on a thumb drive that they provided.

    I put on everything I would have used in my portfolio. Max files, renders, finished stuff, screen shots of levels I worked on. Anything that was for my folio or could be used to get another job. I was told the drive would be screened and checked and I could pick it up later.

    When I picked it up I had less then 10 things on it that were useful. There was no work at all for my folio and the only files available were movies (trailers) for the game that had already been released to the public.

    So yeah guys and gals... BACK UP YOUR STUFF... Cover your own ass. We aren't afforded the wonderful two week notices that companies always ask us for. In the end you have to protect yourself and your family and once you begin to think like that you will feel much better. We as artists are assets only when we are needed and when we are not we are tossed aside.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 15
    on a sidenote - I took advantage of the career counseling thing and I found it very helpful - and if you're feeling bitter the agency charges the studio a few thousand bucks per person for it. Most HR people aren't artist and don't have the eye to discern a good portfolio from a bad one so having a resume that can get you noticed by HR is a good thing.
  • Mathew O
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    Mathew O interpolator
    These threads are so depressing but the more I see them the more I realise how necessary it is to take the advice given.. It's such a shame that you (understandably) can't just take with you what would be needed to hopefully secure your next job. Especially if you've been in the same studio for years....
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 13
    Yeah I didn't take advantage of it. Perhaps it would have been helpful but I was pretty upset for a while. I had just returned from paternity leave only a week before so then finding out my insurance and my steady paycheck was toast was pretty frustrating...

    Ahh well... Old news now...
  • katana
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    katana polycounter lvl 12
    I wouldn't call this a depressing thread. It's really about knowledge empowerment. We read about layoffs, but a frank discussion about what really transpires in the final days or months is an excellent one to have.

    It boils down to knowing what could happen and how to be prepared for it.

    Isn't that what shortens the time between looking for a new job?
  • Mathew O
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    Mathew O interpolator
    I totally agree with you and that's why I said I think it's necessary to take the advice given.

    I do think that hearing about large amounts of layoffs every week is very depressing but it's great that everyone can come to a place like polycount and have a chat about it rather than bottling it all up :D
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 13
    I think it is a good thing for us to share the info and for it to get out in whatever means necessary. A lot of times places try to sweep this under the rug and hide these things because it makes them look bad.
  • Parnell
    smaller studios usually are a more 'family' environment.

    When Terminal Reality had their layoffs a month ago, they gave people a week to come in and back all their work up. They also gave them deals on licensing their engine for free.

    That is an awesome deal, seriously. That engine from what I've seen is pretty bad ass.
    B
  • skylebones
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    skylebones polycounter lvl 10
    Yeah I didn't take advantage of it. Perhaps it would have been helpful but I was pretty upset for a while. I had just returned from paternity leave only a week before so then finding out my insurance and my steady paycheck was toast was pretty frustrating...

    Ahh well... Old news now...


    Your story is pretty much the same as mine. Except I didn't back up my work, and I just bought a house six months earlier and had a wife that was four months pregnant.

    But in the end, it was the best thing that has ever happened to my career.
  • Sandro
    Wow I did not realize working for big companies was that tough. It makes sense that they would not want employees to walk around with HDDs packed with working files in the middle of production of course, but not being able to properly collect your belongings and take couple of screenshots for portfolio sounds too harsh and I am guessing it makes you feel very insignificant.
  • aivanov
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    aivanov polycounter lvl 5
    I'm personally wondering when the industry will undergo the same changes Hollywood did when it went from "Movie from Studio X" to "Movie by Director X", I can only imagine that will help the people actually responsible for making the damn games not be disposable trash in the eyes of the corporate MBAs.

    We're seeing this with indies, and hopefully it only gets better.
  • leslievdb
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    leslievdb polycounter lvl 12
    very depressing news, i think i wouldn't want to work for a triple A studio at this time.
    can't believe people are "expendable" like that
  • skankerzero
    It's also a safety precaution on the studio.

    Even if you were working in a cubicle at some regular job, you will be escorted out if laid off.

    These keeps people from wrecking shit and or destroying digital files someone may need.
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